Wow – 300 members, fantastic! Now it’s time for a few Lambs’ Ears Cookbook Club tweaks to help make our group as accessible as possible.
Hello cookbook lovers, it’s that time again when I announce the next book we will be cooking from in June. However, I’ve been listening to your suggestions on our Facebook group and have come up with a couple of cookbook club tweaks to change things up a little.
I totally get that most of you don’t want to be buying a new cookbook every month, but I do try to make the group accessible, and all of the books I select have some recipes available online. I also know some of you are relying on local libraries and often have significant waiting list times. As the wait times for some library books can be many months long, I’m afraid this is not something that we can factor in to the monthly selections – it’s just not practical.
However, these cookbook club tweaks will definitely make it easier for everyone who wants to, to join in – and now that we are 300 strong (after just three months!) there’s enough of us to have a pretty active cookbook club. ?
So, here goes …
First up, we will have one cookbook that we will cook from for an entire 12 months. Obviously, this will need to be a substantial volume and one that warrants a seriously deep dive, in order to go the distance. My first selection for the yearly book is the new Australian and award winning In Praise of Veg, by Alice Zaslavsky (RRP $59.99, but only $43.75 if you use this link).
This book is a colourful and definitive guide to making veggies the star of any meal. In it, Alice profiles 50 different vegetables, offers recipes, tips, shortcuts and various helpful tables to enable cooks to produce exciting, interesting and delicious veg-forward dishes. This is a significant kitchen compendium and one I’d suggest every home should have on the shelf. I’d highly recommend buying it.
Secondly in my cookbook club tweaks, we will have our normal monthly selection, but in addition I’ll select for the month ahead as well – so I’ll announce both this month’s book, plus the the next one.
For the month of June we will be cooking from an international award winning cookbook, Parwana, by Durkhanai and Farida Ayubi (RRP $45, $34.35 if bought via this link). I reviewed this gorgeous book, written here in Adelaide, when it was released last year, and it has since gone on to win the Art of Eating Prize for Best Food Book of the year, 2021. It combines recipes for the food the Ayubi family is famous for in their much-loved restaurant Parwana, and the story of their family history in Afghanistan, and a potted history of the country itself. It’s a deeply personal and very moving book, and the food is splendid and accessible.
For July we will be cooking from Hetty McKinnon’s third cookbook, To Asia, With Love (RRP $39.99, $32.25 from this link), published in September 2020. An Australian-born Chinese who now resides in the USA, this tribute to her culinary heritage is a love letter to her childhood growing up in Sydney, surrounded by the sounds and smells of her mother’s very busy kitchen. Another vegetarian offering, it also embraces the Australian side of her upbringing, and includes what she calls her ‘third-culture’ culinary adaptations, recognising the integration of local ingredients into traditional dishes – her buttery miso Vegemite noodles will definitely become a family favourite.
Thirdly, in the last of my cookbook club tweaks, I’m introducing “Throw-back Thursday”. Every Thursday, if we choose, we can cook and post from any of the previous cookbooks featured in the group.
So, in a nutshell, here is the new structure for the cookbook group, which I hope makes it easier and more inclusive for all –
An annual cookbook that we will cook from for 12 months – for this year the selection is “In Praise of Veg”, by Alice Zaslavsky.
The monthly selection for June will be “Parwana”, by Durkhanai and Farida Ayubi.
The monthly selection for July will be “To Asia, With Love”, by Hetty McKinnon.
Every Thursday is “Throw-back Thursday” where we can cook and post from all previous featured cookbooks. For 2021 these are –
You can buy any of these cookbooks at all good bookshops, or online at Booktopia using the links in this post. (If purchased via these links, you will get a great price and I will receive a small percentage of the cost.)